Business & Finance

IMF Warns: Skilled Workers Leaving Nigeria, Others


Skilled workers are leaving Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries in rapidly increasingly numbers, producing a “brain drain” that causes long-term social damage, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Tuesday, reports AFP.

The IMF said the number of sub-Saharan migrants living in developed countries could increase from about 7 million in 2013 to about 34-million by 2050.

It described a “profound demographic transition” under way in the region as the working-age population grows faster than the total population — driving a migration boom.

“Brain drain is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa,” the IMF said in its latest report, noting that it created “welfare losses beyond those that are purely economic”.

“The migration of young and educated workers takes a large toll on a region whose human capital is already scarce,” it said.

“The migration of highly skilled workers entails a high social cost, as is evidenced by the departure of doctors and nurses from Malawi and Zimbabwe.”

The IMF said migration from sub-Saharan Africa to the developed nations of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had “picked up sharply” over the last 15 years.

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France, the UK and the US host about half of the Diaspora outside the sub-Saharan region.

The report also pointed to evidence of some positive gains from the migration of highly skilled workers.

“Returning migrants bring back new skills … knowledge and experience,” it said, adding that “remittance inflows represent an important source of foreign-exchange and income”.

The IMF report added that growth had fallen in sub-Sahara’s powerhouse economies due to lower commodity prices.

Nigeria is due to contract 1.7% in 2016 amid disrupted oil production, poor power supply and weak investor confidence.

GDP in SA and Angola is expected to be flat in 2016, but growth will be above 5% in Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya and Senegal due to low oil prices, high consumption and strong investment.

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